RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 6 . . Independence . . Part 1
RAILCAR GOLD is a historically accurate multi-generational fictional tale of hidden treasure, primarily set in York County, Pennsylvania during the latter half of the Nineteenth Century. This is Part 1 of Chapter 6 . . . Independence. A new part will be posted every Thursday. New readers may want to start at the beginning.
CHAPTER 6 . . . INDEPENDENCE . . . Part 1
Dan was startled from his sleep by the sound of breaking glass; it was July 5th, one day following his 9th birthday. A bird must have flown through one of the windowpanes of the abandoned factory; it was flopping around on the floor among the shards of broken glass.
Panic immediately set in, as soon as Dan realized his sack was gone. The guy was gone. Dan could just kick himself for being so gullible. He should have followed his first instincts; to steer clear of that guy.
Dan remembered what the guy told him yesterday, when he proclaimed “I’ve been observing that switch stoppage from the trees for several days; might be a good place to sneak onto a car.” That’s where Dan headed; as fast as his legs could take him.
The sun was nearly ready to break the horizon. In the light of daybreak, Dan did not see anybody among those trees. He found a good observation spot and settled in.
Dan wanted to be there to confront the guy, if he showed up. Also Billy might be coming in on a train from Wrightsville; Dan thought this was as good a waiting spot as any, if either were the case.
The sack contained the last vestiges of items connecting Dan to his family. Thoughts swirled in his mind. How would he confront the guy?
Would he tell the guy to keep a few of the things, as a goodwill gesture? In the worst case, Dan decided to give up the shirt his Mother had gotten him in Philadelphia, the scarf belonged to his Mom and a shirt belonging to his Dad.
Dan was willing to give up all these pieces of clothing in exchange for the two birthday cards made by his Mom. The one card contained handprints of both of his siblings. On the other card, his Mom drew a picture of the Declaration of Independence, since Dan shared his birthday with the birth of that document.
Dan hastily checked his pants pocket. He pulled out 61 cents. Thank goodness, the guy did not pick his pocket while he slept. Dan took off his shoes and put most of the coins, especially the 1849 penny, under the leather insoles.
It seemed like forever before the first train from Wrightsville stopped for the switch to be set. Dan could not contain his excitement when a boxcar door opened and a head peered out, looking both ways; before quickly closing the railcar door, while remaining inside the boxcar. Dan was not close enough to be sure, however in his anticipation, he was positive that was Billy.
Dan wanted to run up to the railcar and rap on the boxcar, however just as he was ready to bolt from the trees, he noticed the man setting the switch was already nearly back to the engine. What happened next frightened Dan.
The switchman stopped at the engine and yelled something at the engineer. Another man, covered in soot, got down from the engine and joined the switchman as they walked to the railcar where Billy had stuck out his head. Had Billy been spotted when he peered out of the boxcar?
As these men reached to open the railcar door, Dan was planning a diversion. He would run towards the train and scoot under a car, so at least one of the men would follow to the other side of the train and try to catch him; thus giving Billy a better chance to make a break for it.
Go to Part 2